If you were ill, would you know who to turn to? NHS Ayrshire & Arran is encouraging us to choose the right option for our condition.
'When you're ill, know who to turn to' campaign outlines the eight
options available when we need medical assistance, alongside a list of
symptoms that could be appropriately dealt with by each option. These
• Self care: for minor illness or injury that we can
deal with ourselves, such as hangover, grazed knee, sore throat, coughs
• Pharmacist: for expert advice or information on medicines
and healthcare, including the Minor Ailment Service. Examples of minor
ailments include coughs and colds, indigestion, constipation, aches and
• Dentist: for regular check-ups, routine treatment and emergency care
Optometrist (optician): for any eye problems including blurred vision,
difficulty seeing well or discomfort - red eyes, irritated eyes
Family doctor: when our illness or injury just won't go away, we should
make an appointment to see our GP who can provide advice and
information about conditions such as vomiting, ear pain, sore belly,
• NHS out-of-hours service: we should turn to the NHS out of
hours service when we are too ill to wait until our GP or dental
surgery is open. Call NHS 24 on 111.
• Minor injuries service: if we require urgent care for a minor injury such as cuts, minor burns, sprains
Accident and emergency: Turn to 999 or a hospital's A&E department
only for serious illness or accidents, such as suspected stroke, heart
attack, head injuries, fracture or wounds requiring stitches.
Moore, NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s Director for Acute Services,
explained, “All too often we see people coming into Accident and
Emergency when they would have been better using one of their local
services, such as their pharmacist, GP or dentist. Knowing which NHS
service to use, and when, is extremely important both in terms of
patient care and the running of the NHS.
“Choosing the wrong
service can lead to delays, patient frustration and inefficiencies.
Choosing the right service can lead to better patient satisfaction and a